The Best Raw Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe!

by on August 6, 2012


Today I have the PERFECT savory salad recipe that I want to share with you. This raw vegan Caesar salad dressing probably my most requested dressing recipe. My friends and family cannot get enough of it. Whenever I make it for potlucks (even for omnivorous barbecues) it’s the FIRST salad to be devoured and people can’t stop raving about it.

They don’t care that my dressing is oil-free, dairy free, orΒ vegan, they just know it’s freaking delicious and they want to know how they can get the recipe!

Well I don’t usually give away my top secret recipes, aside to my close friends, but I wanted to share this recipe with you today.

I don’t know if you’ve ever made your own Caesar salad dressing at home before, but there’s one ingredient in traditional Caesar dressing that just grosses me right out.

Do you know what it is?

Anchovies!

I know… who wants to eat blended fish in a salad dressing…

But this recipe is very close to tasting like a traditional Caesar salad dressing. There is one key ingredient that makes my version very tasty and savory.

It’s miso paste and this gives it that strong tangy flavour that vegan Caesar dressings are sometimes missing.

You can buy miso paste at the health food store or asian markets. There are many different types of miso, but my favourite for salad dressings and gravies is Genmai (Soy and Brown Rice) Miso Paste. You can also use miso paste to make Japanese miso soup or other sauces. If you don’t have access to miso locally, you can also get it from Amazon, so don’t worry. *For a soy free version I have now seen CHICKPEA based miso sold in glass jars at the health food store. So definitely check that out too.

Check it out below. I know you are going to love it πŸ™‚

Raw vegan Caesar Salad

 

The Best Raw Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing/Dip

 

Yields about 1 cup, which covers more than 2 heads of romaine hearts chopped.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup raw cashews (or raw sunflower seeds)
1/8 cup raw sesame seeds (or raw pine nuts) or 2 tbsp tahini
1/8-1/4 cup sunflower seeds (depending how thick you want it)
3-4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp mild miso (I use Genmai soy and brown rice miso)
1/4 tsp kelp granules or other seaweed seasoning *optional
1/2 tsp of dried dill
2 dates or 1-2 tsp agave or other liquid sweetener
1/2-2/3 cup filtered water (to thin as desired)
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Using a hand blender or in a regular blender, combine all ingredients(starting with 1 date or 1/2 tsp agave nectar) and purΓ©e until very smooth.
  2. Taste test. Add additional dates or agave nectar, garlic or lemon if desired to achieve the taste you are looking for.
  3. Add additional water to thin dressing if desired.

Additional Tips:

This dressing will thicken after refrigeration; you can thin it by stirring in 2-3 tsp water if desired. When thick, this dressing can be used as a veggie dip.

Cashews are higher in fat than sunflower seeds, so it’s up to you which you would prefer to use. Cashews will yield a creamier dressing, but be higher in calories.

Do you love Caesar salad? Have you ever tried a vegan version?

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laszlo November 20, 2016 at 3:29 PM

Unfortunately miso is not raw at all nor being healthy since it is naturally packed with many MSG. Period. πŸ™

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2 Veronica Grace December 8, 2016 at 9:47 PM

There is nothing i know of to replace it, if you don’t like a recipe don’t make it. There’s no need for you to criticize it. Naturally occurring msg in small quantities is not the same as added refined msg. If you’re not allergic/sensitive to it, it shouldn’t be a problem.

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3 Rayca May 14, 2015 at 3:33 PM

Miso = sodium. I would imagine anchovies not packed in oil would also have a salty brine. Unfortunately, not very healthy for those watching their sodium intake. Too much is not good for anyone. Just another thing to have to watch as you get older. Argh!

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4 Veronica Grace May 22, 2015 at 1:50 PM

Rayca, this is a plant based blog with vegan recipes on it, so we do not use anchovies. This is why miso is used, and it’s only a little bit for the fermented flavor. No one is eating this dressing all day every day.

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5 Janet December 20, 2014 at 12:13 PM

This dressing is fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing!

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6 Christine May 21, 2014 at 1:01 PM

This is the BEST vegan ceasar dressing I have made. And I have numerous recipes.
This is the one I will use from now on.
I didn’t use kelp granules or seaweed seasoning, but next time I will. I used 2 heaping teaspoons of Nutritional Yeast instead. The dressing tasted nuttier and richer.
Thanks for the awesome recipe.

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7 Joan May 8, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Wow! This was delicious. I ended up using some of it as a dip as you suggested. I didn’t have kelp so I used some Herbamare instead. It was good enough to just take a spoon and start eating!

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8 shan April 29, 2014 at 2:38 PM

hi there, how long should this last?

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9 Veronica Grace April 30, 2014 at 4:43 PM

It doesn’t last long when I make it, everyone eats it all. But any fresh dressing is best within 3-4 days.

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10 Paula March 11, 2014 at 9:46 AM

This looks delish, a little labor-intensive for a lazy shopper and cook like me … but I’ll try it. Is it in your salad dressings e-book? I have the book, will go and look, otherwise I’ll just copy/paste and print it out.

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11 Veronica Grace March 15, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Hi Paula, no it is not. The 70 Healthy Salad Dressings ebook is by Frederic Patenaude and not myself so it’s not in there.

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12 Roberts December 8, 2013 at 6:08 PM

So many recipes call for soy products. I am allergic to soy. Is there an acceptable substitute foe miso?

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13 Veronica Grace December 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Yes you can find CHICKPEA/garbanzo based miso at some health food stores.

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14 Diane September 20, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Hi Veronica,
I want to make this as well as some of your other recipes that call for Genmai Soy and Brown Rice Miso. I don’t want to pay that high shipping on the product from Amazon and don’t want 3 paks of it. I can find Red Miso which contains filetered water, organic whole soy beans, cultured rice, and sea salt. How does Red Miso or does it differ in taste from the Genmai Soy and Brown Rice Miso? Thanks, Diane

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15 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 20, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Hi Diane, I don’t buy my miso from Amazon I just wanted to show everyone what it’s called. I buy my Genmai brown rice miso (this is the type not a brand) at the health food store. I use it for all of my recipes like Caesar Salad, tofu ricotta in lasagna, cheeze sauce for vegetables, mac and cheeze recipe etc. Red Miso can be quite strong and change the flavor of the dish especially in this caesar salad recipe so I can’t say how it would turn out. Personally I wouldn’t use red miso in a raw recipe, its better for braises and glazes, maybe you could try yellow miso instead if you can’t find brown rice miso.

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16 Bilandra August 23, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Thanks! This recipe is delicious! I massaged it into a giant kale salad, with sun-dried tomatoes and capers, then sprinkled with nutrional yeast. Heaven!! And sautΓ©ed tempeh (the only thing I eat cooked, for good reason) in just salt and pepper, crouton size. It’s epic. Nice variation to a kale salad. I will definitely add this into the weekly rotation. Didn’t have cashews, never do actually, so I just used hemp, sesame and sunflower and chickpea miso and Wakame for the seaweed seasoning. Amazing!!!! Thank you!!!!!

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17 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 24, 2013 at 10:47 AM

You’re welcome!

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18 Kori August 2, 2013 at 1:53 PM

This is a keeper, my bf and I both love it. I soaked the cashews and 1/4 c. sunflower seeds with a pinch of salt for a few hours, drained them and followed your recipe exactly using my vitamix.

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19 Margaret July 14, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Hi Veronica,
This looks delicious so will
gather a few cashews and make
this for my next salad.
Warmest regards
Margaret (NZ)

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20 sharon May 10, 2013 at 6:27 PM

I made this with chickpea miso. I find it is less salty and it gives the dressing a slightly “smoky” flavour.

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21 oliver danni April 24, 2013 at 5:36 PM

I’m eating this for dinner tonight! It’s great! I added a pinch of nutritional yeast and about a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and doubled the garlic. I think next time I would actually leave out the sweetener altogether — I only used about a teaspoon of agave but I don’t even think it needs any. I’m eating it right now over spinach and peanuts. YUM!

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22 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica April 24, 2013 at 5:37 PM

It depends on how many cashews you use (as they are a little sweeter) and lemon. Some people really like to increase the lemon. I always adjust salad dressings to my taste.

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23 Lauren April 10, 2013 at 8:26 AM

I love trying new recipes and cooking in the morning. I made this today, using miso and with some other changes: no sweeteners; I added 1 Tblsp. apple cider vinegar, and one sheet of sushi seaweed! Whipped it up in my blender, working with the consistency by adding water. The dressing came out so delicious, I couldn’t wait until dinner….I had a small salad for breakfast, adding my homemade croutons! I wish I could attach a photo I took. Thank you for a great recipe and your beautiful blog.

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24 brandy d January 4, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Great dressing!! Thank You!!
Do you know what the calories, fat etc..is?

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25 Sherrie January 1, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Ok I am new to all this so I am terrified to try and make it what all equipment do I need. I am trying to figure to figure it all out thanks

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26 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica January 1, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Hi! All you need is a blender or food processor! Very easy, and well worth it! Tip: soak cashews and drain, or add a little extra water to blend. They are softer and not hard to blend like almonds.

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27 Brooke December 30, 2012 at 5:17 PM

I have tried several versions of a cashew Caesar and this is by far the best! In fact, it is my favorite cashew dressing overall. I used roasted garlic . I am so happy I found this site! Thank you for sharing!

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28 Elaine December 7, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Veronica, do you have any idea about the caloric count of the dressing? Looking forward to trying it.

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29 Diana October 7, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Thanks for this great recipe! My 5 yr. old son loved it. He asked me for Caesar salad as he likes it at raw restaurants. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find a recipe with the ingredients I had on hand. We didn’t have miso but it still turned out delicious!!! I used our salt substitute which is dehydrated sea asparagus powder.

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30 Fi September 11, 2012 at 12:49 AM

OMG! This is the BEST dressing! My Husband is eating it straight from the vitamix like soup lol! Thank you for this FANTASTIC rendition of a classic dressing! My top favorite!!!!

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31 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 11, 2012 at 1:09 AM

It is amazing isn’t it? I feed it to non raw vegan people for special occasions and they just go nuts for it. It’s great for potlucks too. The miso is key. πŸ™‚

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32 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 11, 2012 at 1:10 AM

P.S. This would be a hilarious testimonial to use as it’s in my Savory Raw Dinner Recipes program. πŸ™‚

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33 Gail August 8, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Just wanted to thank you for this recipe. I love caesar salads and have been trying for over a year now to find a “healthy” caesar dressing. I’ve probably made between 10-12 different recipes and not one of them ever came close to the flavour that yours has. It’s definitely a keeper. Can’t wait to serve it to my husband when he comes home tonight πŸ™‚

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34 Irma August 7, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Hi Veronica,
Thanks for the awesome recipe, I love Caesar salad and to have a recipe for a raw vegan version is great! Thanks for all the healthy recipes, keep up the wonderful work!

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35 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 7, 2012 at 10:09 PM

You’re welcome Irma. Thanks for the feedback πŸ™‚ I love sharing delicious recipes!

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36 Simone August 7, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Sounds delicious! I’ve massaged romaine leaves with a creamy nut dressing to make salads, and it really does make a big difference to the texture and taste of the salad. Ilove anything with seeds in it- they are such versatile things!

As for miso, I think the unpasteurised kinds are better in terms of the probiotic benefits- it is such a handy ingredient for making things salty tasting without using salt.

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37 Joelle August 7, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Thanks! Tried this tonight! It was a hit = )

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38 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 7, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Yay! Glad to hear πŸ™‚

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39 Bonnie August 7, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Any suggestion for something other than the miso – I can’t have gluten. Thanks.

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40 Jude August 7, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Yum! for the alternative to miso, what about some seaweed instead (Trader Joes has the crispy snack version plain or wasabi)

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41 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 7, 2012 at 6:31 PM

I don’t think seaweed snacks would give much of a fermented flavour similar to miso. Just more a seaweed flavour probably. You can try, but I have never used those seasoned seaweed snacks in a recipe. I also don’t know if those are gluten free, most seasonings and anything containing soy sauce is not gluten free. πŸ™‚

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42 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 7, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Hi Bonnie,

Miso paste doesn’t generally have gluten in it (not that I’ve seen). My package ingredients says brown rice, soy beans, water, and culture. That’s it. Rice is gluten free. I have made this Caesar salad for my friend who is a severe Celiac and she was totally fine. The brand I use is here, maybe just read the labels at the health food store or double check with the companies directly. http://www.canadaonly.ca/products/Amano-Foods-Miso-Genmai-400g.html

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43 Em August 7, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Hi Veronica – I make this recipe of yours on a what I call a ‘treat-basis’ and absolutely love it!! There are so many dressings (and other recipes) in your book that I always devour with relish . They are all fool-proof – that’s a first for me re recipe books. πŸ™‚

Thanks for the tip re cashews being higher in fat than sunflower seeds.

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44 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 7, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Hi Em!

Thanks for letting me know. I’m glad you love it. It’s definitely a tasty recipe. I know I only make it when I’m serving other people, or I’d probably eat it all haha. πŸ™‚ Yes cashews are higher in fat that’s why they yield creamier sauces and dressings and are why raw foodists use them in raw cheesecake. Got to be careful with cashews, it’s so easy to eat too many lol

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45 Margaret August 7, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Dear Veronica
Will certainly try this on my salads.
It looks / seems perfect on any salad
greens/ veges.
Warmest wishes,
Margaret (NZ)

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46 Christine Hoeflich August 7, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Hi Veronica,

why do you use agave? I tried it once at Trader Joe’s and something in me had me not buy it, or use it again. Since then, there’s been a lot of info out that agave syrup is worse than HFCS. Why does the raw food community still buy into it?

Christine

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47 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 7, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Christine I listed dates first as that is what I use. I don’t like agave but some people would rather use it than honey to be vegan. I am not reccomending agave but there aren’t any other raw vegan liquid sweeteners widely available. It’s up to the individual to decide. A tiny amount is not a big deal, but eating it regularly is not optimal.

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48 Simone August 7, 2012 at 9:55 PM

My favourite liquid sweetener is date syrup. I can’t get agave where I live, and I find that date syrup makes things sweet when you need it, but not too sweet, and is much better than agave when you are not sure if the agave is organic or not.

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49 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 7, 2012 at 9:58 PM

I’ve never seen date syrup. I like using dates but u need a food processor vitamix usually to blend them in.

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50 Jos August 7, 2012 at 8:19 AM

Thanks Veronica for the recipe. I am going to try it tonight as it sounds so delicious. I love miso and I also like the way you use the cashews and sunflower seeds in it. Thanks for your help in eating healthy. Best wishes.

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